Member Spotlight: Nichola Pergande – Church Street Events

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Welcome to our new feature and the first EWL Club London Member Spotlight!

Photo©John Cassidy The Headshot Guy® 07768 401009Our first interviewee? Director of Church Street Events, Nichola Pergande talks to us about cook-offs, being a perfectionist and kissing Prince Harry…

1. What’s the one thing about working in events that gets you out of bed in the morning?

Knowing that each day brings its own unique set of challenges and is different from any other.

2. What single project or task would you consider your biggest accomplishment to date?

Organising an international three-day conference in Miami for the top 120 people in a Bermuda-based insurance company. It took a year to plan and design and as well as organising the conference itself there was also a formal reception held offsite in the beautiful and grand Vizcaya Museum, coordinating travel arrangements for all the delegates, a partner/spouse programme and a mini-conference held before the main conference. Flying home afterwards, on my favourite airline Virgin Atlantic, I felt satisfied that every delegate had left more informed, focused and motivated than when they had arrived.

3. What’s the biggest career regret you have, if any?

That I didn’t set up Church Street Events sooner!

4. What have you done professionally that was a success, but isn’t an experience you’d want to repeat?

Being filmed for Conference & Incentive Magazine’s 2016 Cook-off with Rocco Forte Hotels. Myself and the three other finalists were filmed cooking a dish at The Tramshed in Shoreditch. Although I was incredibly pleased with the results, I am not a natural in front of the camera.

5. Is it better to be perfect and late, or good and on time?

My heart tells me the former as I am a perfectionist but the reality is that you have a client who is relying on you to deliver their promises. So it has to be on time and good every time.

6. What’s your definition of hard work?

Doing your best every time whatever the circumstances, applying all your mental and physical energies to the task, never getting complacent and always deciding to do the right thing not taking the easy route.

7. If I were to interview everyone you’ve worked with, what words would they most frequently use to describe you?

Passionate, enthusiastic, creative, focused, loyal, tenacious and detail-orientated.

8. Who’s the smartest person you know personally or professionally? Why?

I am so lucky to have met so many smart people in my personal and professional lives and some are famous and some are ‘ordinary’ people. But it would have to be my Father, who sadly is no longer with us, who is the smartest person I have known. He was an Engineer by trade and could do applied maths in his head and quote Shakespeare at any given moment that he had learnt at grammar school. He could make practically anything including TV aerials and he was a legend at mending the myriad of broken items that myself and my sisters broke ‘by mistake’.

9. If you were given £250,000 to build a new business, what would you do?

I would still start an event management business but that budget would allow for renting an office, hiring of staff and investing in a substantial launch budget from the get go.

10. What’s the biggest decision you’ve had to make in the past year? Why was it so big?

Should I start my own event management business or return to working in-house for a corporate.

Starting your own business is simply quite frightening but like the highest rollercoaster, exhilarating at the same time. There are so many decisions to make on your own and the nervousness associated with not receiving a monthly pay packet. Sometimes self-doubt does creep in, normally at about 3am, but I know that investing in Church Street Events is investing in my future and that calms me down. You have to have self-belief when you own your own business.

11. Tell us one thing that no-one knows about you?

That’s a tricky one as I’m a bit of an open book. But… I’ve been kissed by Prince Harry! I used to manage one of the sponsors of Walking With the Wounded and when PH and the crew returned from the South Pole Challenge a thank you party for the sponsors was held at the Mandarin Oriental. PH, as patron, was there to personally thank the sponsors and being one of the only females present I received a kiss on my cheek. I am a huge fan of Harry – I didn’t wash my face for a week!

12. What’s something you’d be happy doing every single day for the rest of your career?

Growing Church Street Events and putting it on the map.

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